Could Labour be doing less well than the headline figures suggest?
If Gordon is thinking about a 2007 general election then every bit of data will be scrutinised to spot the trends so he can be absolutely sure that Labour would be heading for victory with a comfortable majority.
The above table has been clipped from the full data from ICM’s Guardian poll this week that had Labour’s margin down a point but still with a healthy 6% lead. What it shows is the view of people who said they actually voted last time for one of the three main parties and how their voting intentions have changed since.
Make no mistake – this is not good news for the Tories but it does suggest that the situation might not be quite as bleak as some headlines have suggested.
Cameron’s party’s retained vote proportion of 91% is at its lowest level than in any Guardian ICM poll this year. In January it was at 96%. But the Tories are still picking up more Labour and Lib Dem 2005 voters than they are losing so that overall amongst this group they are up.
Labour is doing substantially better on these figures than in any other Guardian ICM poll this year but it is still a net loser amongst 2005 voters
The Lib Dem retention figure is bigger than it has been in other ICM Guardian polls this year but still, overall, it is a net loser.
The big caveat about taking this data is that it is not the full sample. It only includes those who said they voted for the three main parties and does not take into account those who voted for SNP, PC, UKIP, Green or any other party at the last election. It also does not include those who for whatever reason did not vote in 2005 but intend to do so next time.
But you are looking at the intentions of those who said they were in the 61% of the electorate that actually voted in May 2005.
This week two pollsters who have not figured much since Gordon Brown became prime minister will be publishing results. The Independent’s Communicate Research has not carried out a survey since before the succession of Gordon while Populus for the Times just had the poll taken during the first weekend afterwards and which had a 3% Labour lead. These two follow a fairly similar approach to ICM.
Since Gordon came to power there have been four ICM polls, three from YouGov, one from Ipsos-Mori and the one from Populus. It will be good to get a different view.
Election date betting is here with 2007 now down to 4/1. In my betting I am now reducing my spread position on the number of weeks until the general election.